Netanyahu opposes easing Iran sanctions

Israel on Sunday warned the international community against easing sanctions on Iran after the election of a reformist-backed president, saying the country’s nuclear efforts remain firmly in the hands of its extremist ruling clerics.

Prime Minister Benjamin ­Netanyahu issued the warning a day after Hassan Rouhani’s surprise victory. Although Rouhani is considered a relative moderate and had the backing of reformists, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, is the ultimate authority on all state matters. Key security policy decisions, including nuclear efforts, defense and foreign affairs, remain in the hands of Kha­menei and the Revolutionary Guard Corps, his powerful protectors.

Netanyahu noted that Iran’s clerics had disqualified candidates they disagreed with from running in the election. He said the international community must not get caught in “wishful thinking” and ease the pressure on Tehran, saying, “Iran will be tested by its deeds.”

— Associated Press

5 seek asylum after plane is diverted

Five passengers on an Egypt­Air flight diverted to a Scottish airport over an apparent threat to destroy the aircraft are seeking asylum in Britain, authorities said Sunday.

Flight 985, which left Cairo bound for New York, was forced to make an emergency landing Saturday after a threatening note was found in the plane’s lavatory.

British Typhoon fighter jets escorted the plane to Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport, where the flight was met by a heavy police presence, but no arrests were made. The flight was eventually cleared to carry on its journey to the United States.

A spokeswoman for Scottish police said five out of the flight’s roughly 300 passengers were seeking asylum in Britain.

Speaking from Cairo, Egypt­Air CEO Tawfik Assy identified the passengers as Syrians, though the Scottish police spokeswoman said she could not provide any information about their nationality.

— Associated Press

Elections ahead as Kuwaiti court dissolves parliament: Kuwait’s constitutional court on Sunday forced fresh elections by dissolving parliament on the basis of flaws in the election law, the news media reported. The decision may set the stage for a new wave of political showdowns in the Persian Gulf nation. The ruling follows objections to the voting law in December’s election, which was boycotted by opposition groups and others who said the new rules favored Kuwait’s ruling family and were imposed without public debate.

Gunmen in Pakistan kill 2 anti-polio workers: Police say gunmen killed two anti-polio workers in northwest Pakistan on Sunday. Over the past year, attackers have killed several health workers associated with Pakistan’s anti-polio campaign. Militant groups oppose the vaccinations and accuse the workers of spying for the United States. No one asserted responsibility for the Sunday attack.

Pope blesses hundreds of ­Harley-Davidsons: Biker culture came to the Vatican on Sunday as Pope Francis blessed thousands of Harley-Davidsons and their riders, who were celebrating the manufacturer’s 110th anniversary with a loud parade and plenty of leather. Thundering Harley engines nearly drowned out the Latin recitation of the “Our Father” prayer that accompanied Francis as he greeted the crowd before Mass.

Hundreds sickened at Bangladeshi garment factory: Police said several hundred garment workers were sickened at their factory outside Bangladesh’s capital, apparently after drinking water there. Police official Mohammad Jahid said many of the workers, most suffering vomiting and stomach problems, were treated at various hospitals after the incident Sunday at East West Factory in Gazipur district. He said up to 4,000 workers are employed at the factory.

— From news services